The 20-Day Challenge

The estimated reading time for this post is 2 minutes

Friday, August 19, felt like the start of the new school year because Bryan, Jessica and I all met together for the first time as a team in the office, each officially a part of the 21st Century Learning Department. To guide the start of our new year together, I issued a challenge. Inspired by my #commitment to be more transparent in telling the story of the 21st Century Learning and the vision of Open Campus, I declared that we should each commit to blogging about our work, inspired by Austin Kleon’s book Show Your Work and dedicated to the principle that by sharing our struggles and triumphs on a regular, indeed a micro-, basis, we would begin to help clarify where we were going and draw together a tribe of like-minded people to help us go further, faster.  It’s not a new concept to blog. And we were certainly borrowing from Austin Kleon in the type of blogging we were going to engage in, blogging for the purpose of making visible the process of working toward creating 21st Century Learning environments and experiences.

What was new, however, was the ambition of the twenty days challenge: each of us would attempt to blog 8-12 times per day for the first 20 days of work.  We started with a a 25-minute “sprint” activity, just spending some quiet time writing, to get the wheels turning, share some initial ideas, and to calibrate our expectations for this challenge. I spent time this weekend, while feeling under the weather and on the couch, building this blogging platform. (For those who are interested, this is built on WordPress (open source software) and hosted on the Google Cloud Platform.)

Some backstory: Where did I get the “magic” ratio of blogging 8-12 times per day?  I heard it mentioned in a video I watched that morning before work in which author/speaker/businessman Gary Vaynerchuk captured a one on one consultation with an entrepreneur.  What struck me is Gary’s insistence on the fact that “having ideas” is meaningless, and having a product to share is everything.  He challenged the entrepreneur to write, document and share his work & his passion and to do so by sharing 8-12 posts per day.  The entrepreneur literally sucked his breath back into his mouth in disbelief! “Eight to twelve? Per day?” This push reminded me of Seth Godin’s declaration of “Ship it!” and Austin Kleon’s call to “show Your work!”  Gary even went so far as to demonstrate that documenting your work can become a product itself and a valuable commodity, if you are indeed, producing something in the first place.

I’m betting that what we are working on is plenty of fuel for 8-12 blog posts per day. Open Campus hybrid courses. BreakoutEdu. Online, on-demand professional development. Student LCAP conversations. #IAMSAUSD photo stories. CrazyTalk & educator avatars. Gamification. Graphic design. Marketing. Yes, we keep busy.

Collaborating. Creativity. Critical Thinking – these 3 C’s are good. But if people don’t know the story and the vision of these 3, then the greatest of the 4 C’s may just be Communication.

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Coordinating 21st Century Learning in Santa Ana & beyond. I practice art through photography. I raise funds for clean water with Team World Vision.

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Coordinating 21st Century Learning in Santa Ana & beyond. I practice art through photography. I raise funds for clean water with Team World Vision.

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